No matter where you are in the divorce process…
Your husband comes home and says he wants a divorce,
You’ve been unhappy for years, but you are too afraid to take the first step to leave your marriage,
You and your spouse both want to leave the marriage, and you’re going through a divorce,
you’re going to need a lot of this: patience.
One of the biggest and most unexpected challenges of getting a divorce is how long this process takes. You either are waiting for your spouse, mediator, lawyer, or accountant to respond to you. This waiting period can cause so much anxiety and stress, and often my clients struggle in what seems a never-ending game of waiting. It doesn’t help that we live in a world that treasures instant gratification. When we make a decision, we expect it to happen right now!
Well, in divorce, time can be a very valuable tool and perfect cooling-off period for both parties involved. If you’re like me and lack patience, there is no better time than through divorce to learn to value and welcome the gift of patience. If you need help slowing down or making peace with the waiting during divorce, here are some ways to help you throughout, without losing your hair or your sanity:
3 Tips for Practicing Patience During the Divorce Process
1. Make Them Wait
Whenever you are triggered by your spouse, an attorney, mediator or children, don’t react. Take time to think about what is being said. Respond when and only when your mind and emotions have had time to process the feelings you are feeling, whether you feel anger, disbelief, betrayal, or deep sadness. Avoid making any decisions regarding parenting or finances when your emotions run high. Only respond to what is necessary and when you have had time to access what needs to be addressed.
More often than not, my clients will send me the response they want to send to whoever incited their anger or pain, and as a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and trained mediator, I help them focus on what will make a difference in their custody and/or finances. My goal is to make sure they make decisions that move them forward to a more positive place.
2. Focus on the Known
There are so many unknowns in divorce, like where will you live, how will you afford to maintain a good lifestyle, when will the process be over, will you be alone forever, will your kids be okay, is this the right thing to do, did your spouse ever love you, where is all the money…. These answers will come, but not today and maybe not tomorrow, but they will come, in time. So journal through this process. Ask yourself what goals you have. Create a budget to help you manage your finances, or meet with a CDFA and complete a Lifestyle Analysis. If you will need a job, start looking for opportunities now. Focus your attention on the known and what you can do to move you forward. This will assuage the discomfort of waiting for the unknown to be answered.
If you have assembled the right divorce team, listen. If you agree with the guidance offered, then follow it. Trust they know what they are doing and go back to following number two above. If your gut is telling you not to agree with your team, then discuss it with them. Remember, they work for you. Your voice is important, and a good team will listen to you and address your concerns. Getting the clarity you need is one of the greatest assets you can have during divorce.
See it, believe it, and you will achieve it. I use this affirmation in many areas of my life, including when I got divorced. While you are going through divorce, see your happiness, believe you will get there, and I promise you will! Until then, practice patience, focus on the known, and listen to your gut and to your divorce team. Take the right steps to protect yourself, and one day at a time you will see the light to a new journey and a happier you!
At Divorce U Solutions Catherine Shanahan uses her expertise and resources to keep clients in the loop by providing them with clarity and confidence needed to make very important decisions.